WEIRD NEWS

Corgis Put To The Test As Police Pups In Russia

The small dogs may be taking on big responsibility.
Corgis' intelligence and keen sense of smell would likely make them excellent search dogs, an American Kennel Club spokeswoma
Corgis' intelligence and keen sense of smell would likely make them excellent search dogs, an American Kennel Club spokeswoman said. Actual police corgi not pictured.

Moscow may soon have the world’s most adorable police force.

The department’s canine unit is planning to train Welsh corgis to assist in their police work, according to Newsweek's translation of Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. Specifically, officials are hoping that the short-legged dogs can help them sniff out bombs and other contraband.

Right now, the force is training two puppies. “It is not certain that they will be able to join the ranks of service dogs, but even if they don’t the experiment will be interesting for everyone,” Elena Haikova, head of the canine unit, told RIA Novosti.

But there’s reason to believe those corgis will be star pupils, according to American Kennel Club spokeswoman Brandi Hunter.

“[Corgis] have great noses,” Hunter said. “They’re very smart, they’re easy to train … they can get into smaller spaces.”

Because of those qualities, she said, “they’d probably make excellent search dogs.”

Hunter also pointed out that corgis are already frequently employed as service animals, especially as therapy dogs or to help people who are deaf or hearing-impaired.

Historically, corgis were bred to be herding dogs in Wales, corralling large animals like cattle by nipping at their heels. While there are two distinct corgi breeds — Pembroke Welsh corgis and Cardigan Welsh corgis -- both types have been around for more than 1,000 years.  Pembroke Welsh corgis date back to at least 1107 A.D., while historians believe Cardigan corgis have been around since at least 1200 B.C., according to the AKC.

It's unclear which corgi breed Moscow police are training, though the photo accompanying the RIA Novosti article appears to show a Pembroke Welsh corgi.

This article has been updated to reflect the uncertainty of which corgi breed Moscow police are training.

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